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2022 Cadillac CT5-V Blackwing First Drive: Bombastic Fantastic

Mirza Grebovic’s eyes light up when he gets to talk about brake pad compounds. He’s the performance variant manager for Cadillac, and his enthusiasm for the job—and especially the 2022 CT5-V Blackwing he helped create—clearly goes beyond the paycheck.

You see, this Blackwing is big and exceptionally powerful. Getting it stopped quickly, repeatably, and reliably on track is no small feat, even for the powerful cast-iron-rotor-based Brembo system fitted as standard. (A carbon-ceramic Brembo disc setup is optional.) Doing it with a traditional pad is hard enough, but once you remove heat-dissipating copper from the pad’s compound (which is done for environmental reasons), it becomes a true challenge. And it’s one Grebovic obviously relished, as he told me about the roughly 20 compounds they tested before settling on one that met noise and temperature targets while surviving almost 800 laps during a marathon, 24-hour track testing session.

The anecdote is important not because the ingredients of brake pads are particularly interesting but because it shows how hungry Grebovic and his team were to get this Blackwing right. The CT5-V Blackwing will, along with the smaller CT4-V Blackwing, be the last of its kind. The last to feature a feral, screaming, torque-drunk 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V-8. So, the subtext went, let’s make the CT5-V Blackwing the epitome of everything we love about the traditional automobile, before embracing whatever the future of Cadillac performance will look like. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.

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